tea

Our afternoon tea tradition

My best friend from high school, Marylisa, and I have a tradition of trying new places for afternoon tea. We have been to many places for afternoon tea together. In the San Fernando Valley, there was a place called “The Guilded Rose”. It was a purple house and inside it was like an English cottage. They served afternoon tea and that was always our place to go. Unfortunately, they closed down and that is when we started looking for other places to go for afternoon tea. The places we have tried in the past were the Huntington Library, the Four Seasons, the Chado Tea Room and the Elle C Garden Cafe in Santa Clarita.

Cute tea cup and saucer

This year we tried the Madeline Garden Bistro in Pasadena. This restaurant had a very European feel to it because of it’s decor and atmosphere. It was tres chic.  We ordered the Royal afternoon tea and it was very different than the usual tea sandwiches,  scones and dessert. This tea offered a soup or salad, a hot tier, a cold tier, scones and dessert. For my tea, I ordered Earl Grey. That was unusual for me because I usually like to order teas that I haven’t tried before and that have an unusual combination. I still enjoyed it and as usual, I added milk and sugar to my tea. Delicious.

The first course came out and it was actually the scones. We ended up saving that for later and then our soup and salad came out. I chose the tomato soup.

You say tomato, I say tomato…soup

Then the tiers came out. The first tier was the hot tier which included steak, potatoes au gratin, a hot crab salad and shrimp.

the hot tier

We started on the hot tier, of course. Then the next tier was the cold tier.

so cold

This tier included the tea sandwiches that I always look forward to. The sandwiches that were included in this tier were the salmon and butter tea sandwich and the  cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwich. There was also a caprese salad skewer and a shrimp cocktail.

Since we saved our scone for later, after our cold tier, we decided to eat our scone with the clotted cream and jam. The waiter said it was a Christmas scone so it had pieces of dried fruit in it, like a Christmas fruitcake.  It was pretty good.

The dessert tier was next. It was very elegant. It had creme brulee, a macaroon and a chocolate brownie with frosting and peppermint sprinkles on top.

I really enjoyed this experience. I liked the European decor. Our table was set nicely. We sat on elegant couches with cute fluffy pillows. On this day, there was a guitarist playing music in the background. I would definitely go here again. They also serve tapas and champagne brunch. They have very good service and are very friendly and accommodating.  Interestingly, our royal afternoon tea came with champagne but our waiter forgot to give it to us. They apologized and gave us a discount on our bill. I think it would have been fun to drink champagne with a high tea. I will try that next time.

Lemon curd recipe- perfect for your tea party and scones

I found the perfect lemon curd recipe. I’ve made it and I’ve tried it and it is delicious! This lemon curd is perfect for your tea party and scones. It’s so easy to make and did I mention that it’s perfect? Well, it’s so perfect that it’s actually called Perfect Lemon Curd Recipe. (Click on the link to view the recipe at allrecipes.com).

Or I can just tell you. Here’s what you will need:

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed

Here’s what you need to do:

In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients, the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and butter. Cook over medium-low heat until it is thick enough to hold marks from the whisk and the first bubble appears on the surface (about 6 minutes).

This curd must be refrigerated. I personally like lemon curd a bit chilled. If you do too, then you can actually make it up to a week in advance before using it.

If you like lemon, try this lemon curd recipe. It’s delicious!

DIY tea party with scones and lemon curd

I felt like having a tea party. So I found my favorite tea pot, some cloth napkins, my favorite Tinkerbell tea mug from my Uncle and my favorite little saucer. My favorite part of any tea party are the scones and lemon curd. I decided to whip some up.

I found the scones recipe from allrecipes.com. The scones came out moist and delicious. It was also very light and airy. I believe that is because of the 5 teaspoons of baking powder in the recipe. It’s been a long time since I’ve made scones so I was surprised at how many teaspoons of baking powder went in the recipe. The baking powder helped the batter to rise and make enough bubbles in the batter to make a very light and airy scone.

The dough was pretty tricky to handle because it was so sticky, but I managed. Instead of making scones that were triangular, I made them circular since it was easier to drop them onto the baking sheet.

I also made mini scones using a mini cupcake tin. They came out great!

Next, I made the lemon curd. I found the lemon curd recipe at allrecipes.com. It was very easy to make. I’m lucky to have a lemon tree in my backyard so I picked a nice big lemon for this recipe.

I have never made lemon curd before so I was surprised to find out that there are eggs and butter in the recipe. Also, it has to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Our tea party turned out great. The scones and lemon curd were delicious.